In June of this year my very good friend Jenny who’s a vet nurse rang me up and announced “I’ve got you a dog!”. “Gee thanks Jen, but I don’t really want a dog”, I replied. “No, this ones a good one and you drive too much on your own, you need a friend in the car” was her response.
At this stage I was not having a dog. Not at all. I very cautiously ask, “What sort of dog is it?’. “It’s a little one, chiahuahua cross” she happily replies. Now I’m REALLY not having a dog. My mind fills with images of a yapping fluffy thing and me having to flake chicken breast and feed it by hand every night. I’m told that “I’ve not heard her make a noise yet and she eats like a crocodile”. Hmmmm. My next line of defence is my cat. Moo’s his own ‘person’ and doesn’t really like his space being invaded. I’m told “Nope she gets on really well with other dogs and cats, she just doesn’t bother them”.
About ten minutes later a photo’s sent to my mobile of the saddest, funniest looking little thing you’ve ever seen. Poppy eyes and ears that could probably pick up some kind of broadband signal. I was told her story, she was surrendered because she gets a little bit of dry eye, which is fairly common to her type of breed, and the owners didn’t want to apply ointment occasionally. The person who’d rescued her the first time had a dog that was attacking her so she was surrendered again. I’m a sucker, it was her sad eyes that did me in. A ‘trial’ was arranged.
Jenny had renamed her Sarah. I teach about four people called Sarah, we couldn’t have that. I decided on Ratty. This had the added bonus of horrifying Jenny, I felt I’d won some ground back.
Ratty was desexed, vaccinated, microchipped and checked out by the vet and delivered to me on a Friday morning. She looked even funnier in real life and was a bit subdued. That’s until Jen left and I opened the front door. She was GONE. She had an outstanding stealth mode and was quick as lightning. For the next week everytime you opened the front door she was out of there, always turning right at the top of the driveway and adopting her determined trot down the footpath, always just out of reach. It seemed she also had a sense of humour.
The following weeks revealed a number of things. I had a new hot water bottle in bed. She was a complete tom-boy and went upside down in anything, her career highlight being upside down in 8 week old buried venison with her friend Eddy the Labrador. After a few washes and conditions (see aforementioned love of my bed combined with love of stinky things) she had both an awesome tail instead of a sad little whippy thing and back ‘trousers’ which have been dubbed the ‘pantaloons of happiness’. She could sleep and snore for Australia. She fits in a handbag and has been to both Deakin Uni bookshop and the Apple store at Chadstone. She tap-dances when I arrive home. She has a pretty high top speed which vaguely resembles the bunny lure at greyhound races. She can eat a chicken wing in record time to the horror and amusement of many of my friends. She fears NOTHING but won’t confront other dogs preferring instead to say hi and then wander off doing her own thing again.
She is 5.2kg of pure love and determination. She’s very strongly decided that I’m her ‘person’ and I’ve got to say it’s pretty nice to be ‘owned’ by her!
In her travels she’s also won over most people she’s met, including my father who’s possibly the last person on earth to like ‘little’ dogs. She’s even made ground with Moo. There’s occasional love shown from him although he’d never admit to it.
At a recent competition someone kindly took her for me for a little while whilst I called a couple of tests for a friend. They arrived back with her exclaiming ‘everyone knows this dog, it’s taken me half an hour to walk back from where I took her!’. Ratty the celebrity……she comes everywhere with me and believes she owns every equestrian centre in Victoria. There’s much unhappiness when there’s a show on at one of them and she’s got to be on the lead!
Thank you to whoever you are who decided you didn’t want her anymore, she’s just fabulous!